Bird #2 — Rock Dove

columba (a dove or pigeon) livia, (blue, blue-gray, or lead-colored)

Saturday, May 12, 1979 — 8:00 p.m.

Chicago, Illinois — LaSalle Street — Greek Orthodox Church

First of all, let me state that I know this bird has been renamed “Rock Pigeon,” but that’s just silly.

Larry and I spent the day at Marriott’s Great American Amusement Park with Sally and Cindy. After we got back to Moody Bible Institute, he and I walked to the nearby Treasure Island grocery store for something or other. A block or so east of Moody on LaSalle Street, there is a Greek Orthodox church.

As we walked by, we saw many Rock Doves lined up on ledges near the roof. A few others were perched on a light pole in front of the church. Of course, I’d seen “pigeons” all over the place while I was living in Chicago, but these were different. Now I was listing.

This reminds me of two other amusing stories that have nothing to do with birds.

On another occasion, I went to Treasure Island and purchased a two-liter bottle of Pepsi. On the way back to school, as I was crossing a street, a taxi came roaring around the corner. (Watch out for the yellow ones — they don’t stop!). I sprinted to the curb. I had been holding the bottle with two fingers under the lip on the neck. As I landed on the curb, the bottle flew out of my hand and landed on the sidewalk about 10 feet in front of me. The lid was partially jarred off. The bottle began spinning around as a powerful stream of Pepsi shot out. It made eight or ten revolutions, spraying foam across one lane of LaSalle Street on one side and about six feet up the wall of a building on the other. When it finally came to a halt, there was about two inches of pop left in the bottle. I turned around and walked back to Treasure Island.

For one of my classes at Moody, I was required to attend a service at a church of a different religion. I left this assignment until the last moment — the Sunday evening before it was due. With another student from the class who was also desperate and a friend from my dorm who thought it sounded like a lark, we went to the Greek Orthodox Church where I saw the Rock Doves. We quietly sat down near the back as various members of the congregation entered. Each of them stopped at a table in the back of the sanctuary and lit a candle, then sat down. We waited. The flow of people stopped. We waited. Occasionally, someone would turn and stare at us. We waited. And waited. It became apparent to us that they weren’t going to start the service until we left. Or maybe they just wanted us to light candles. We didn’t know, but we were feeling markedly conspicuous by this time. We got up quietly and filed out. I wrote my paper on the experience and, if I remember correctly, got an A.

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